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Running a modern business is fast-paced and frantic, and, in many ways, very like running a football club. Indeed, you can learn so much about running and managing a company by looking at how football clubs are run. There are perfect examples of what you should do, as well as plenty of cautionary tales as well.

So, how can we apply what we see at football clubs to any modern business? Well, the most important thing is to think about the way they are run and what the priorities have to be. Check out these areas of football and business that are equally important to one another.

Money Matters

Money matters in business, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. In fact, to understand this, we need only look at football’s great cautionary tale, Leeds United. A little over 15 years ago Leeds were one of the most exciting teams in the Premier League. They were a mainstay in the top 6 and reached a UEFA Cup semi-final in the 1999-00 season. Everything was looking great, but, behind the seasons the club was poorly run. Money was spent, money the club didn't have. Fast forward 4 years and the huge debt saw the club having to sell all their best assets, and they were promptly relegated. They've never been back since. This shows you that no matter how successful you are if you’re not careful with money you get onto a slippery slope. The danger of debt affects all businesses, so you have to do whatever you can to stay out of the red!


Your Image is Everything

Image is so important these days, especially since the advent of social media. Businesses have to be very careful about their image, and football clubs are the same. Many of them regulate what their players post on Twitter and Facebook. And, they will often distance themselves from players who tarnish their reputation. It’s important to do the same in your business. You have to consider how your image can be affected by the things you and your employees do. Take, for example, the allegations surrounding Premier League footballer Adam Johnson. His club Sunderland AFC sacked him immediately as they did not want the image of the club ruined. This is the sort of thing you need to consider in business, especially if you are a high-profile company as well.

Customers Make You

The fact of the matter is that, in any business, the customers are the most important thing. A football club is nothing without its fans, and teams need to be aware of this. Liverpool FC’s owners were considering raising ticket prices last season, and the fans staged a mass walk-out. This showed the owners the fan-power in the game, and the price hike was abandoned. You have to realise that your customers have more power over your business than you do, and it’s important to make the right decisions for them.

Help the Community

The local area is so important to business development, and enhancing reputation. It’s good to give back to the area and try to help it thrive. In football, we can use two good examples of this. Fleetwood Town Chairman and entrepreneur Andy Pilley has spent his life in the North West and often does as much as he can for the local community. Hull City’s Egyptian owner Assem Allam has brought a lot of industry to the city and helped it thrive. It’s important for football clubs to give back, and to support the area that supports them. And the same is true of your business, no matter what field you might be in. If you can support your community you show philanthropy, help the area, and attract more people to your business.


Football is one of the most popular sports in the world, with billions of fans globally. However, it is also a lucrative and highly attractive business prospect for a lot of people. Furthermore, you can learn a lot about running any sort of business by looking to football clubs as an example.